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February 11, 2021
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  

Governor Murphy and State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio announced that New Jersey will follow the federal government's lead in allowing Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to be tax exempt at the state level, and those who received the loans also can deduct business expenses paid with money from those tax-exempt loans. Under the federal PPP, some or all of the loan may be forgiven if certain conditions are met. While federal law generally considers forgiven loans to be taxable income, the "Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021," which reauthorized the program, clarified that the amount of a PPP loan which is forgiven may be excluded from income for federal tax purposes and that expenses covered by PPP loans may be deducted from income for federal tax purposes. New Jersey can follow the federal government's treatment without enabling legislation under existing authority. As a result, for the 2020 tax season, related expenses paid for with PPP loans will be deductible for both Gross Income Tax (GIT) and Corporation Business Tax (CBT) purposes and forgiven loans will be excluded from being subject to either tax. 
Shop owners beware!  Customers cars left in your lot overnight are more at risk of catalytic converter theft than ever before.  Actually thieves have been brazen enough that you need to keep a careful eye even in daylight.  Thieves simply crawl under vehicles and saw the converters out.   One shop resorted to letting the air out of tires in order to keep thieves from crawling underneath.  Catalytic converters make up a much larger proportion of a gasoline-powered vehicle's cost than they did even just a year ago, which may be one of the factors pushing customers to electric-powered vehicles. Additionally, stricter car emissions rules enacted around the world has caused the demand for catalytic converters to surge. That has pushed up the asking price for some of the precious metals used in the device - like palladium and rhodium - to record highs. According to the New York Times, the price of palladium quintupled to hit a record of $2,875 an ounce last year from $500 an ounce five years ago. It is now hovering between $2,000 and $2,500 an ounce, above the price of gold. Rhodium prices have skyrocketed more than 3,000 percent from about $640 an ounce five years ago to a record $21,900 an ounce this year, roughly 12 times the price of gold. The metals prices are fueling a black market in stolen catalytic converters, which can be removed from a car quickly, and crooks are able to make several hundred dollars at a scrapyard, which then sells it to recyclers who extract the metals.
This seems to be a trend and we would like to know from our shop owner members; have you experienced the cost of catalytic converters rising or heard of any customers having their converter stolen? Have you experienced any catalytic converter theft while customer's vehicles are in your possession?  Is there a large variation in price of used vs new converters? We are looking to learn more on this subject, so if you have anything to add, please email Michelle michelle@njgca.org. 
In the last several weeks, we have brought you news of policy changes being made to combat climate change, such as President Biden's cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline and rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement. We have also made mention of private companies making these more environmentally conscious changes without government mandate, such as GM switching their fleet to be entirely zero emission by 2035. We mentioned that we expected the natural laws of competition will mean that it is likely that other industry titans will follow, and this week we bring you news that Ford will be making a $29 billion-dollar investment in electric and autonomous vehicles by 2025. Ford plans to invest $22 billion in electrifying new vehicle models, and will also spend $7 billion in autonomous vehicles. Ford is scheduled to release its first electric commercial van late this year and the electric version of its F-150 pickup truck by mid-2022. In December 2020, Ford released the Mach-E as its first EV model.
Recently we hosted two webinars with Chargepoint and look forward to another webinar in the near future that will be presented by new NJGCA MBP FreeWire. We are happy to offer our members ways to stay tuned in to these changes; we are taking this seriously and so should you.
Beginning in February, our MBP Auto Parts International is offering CTI + Worldpac Training Institute will be offering 1-hour technical training classes at lunch time in all 4 Continental US time zones at NO COST, but registration is required
  • 1 technical topic offered per week and classes will run Tuesdays 12-1 PM (Pacific and Central time zones) and Thursdays 12-1 PM (Eastern and Mountain time zones)
  • CLICK THE BELOW FLYER to zoom in for more information (flyer will be added to ProCentral later this week) or click here to view the schedule: Lunchtime Schedule

We want to share information about a special promotion for our members  - EMV4NJ- from our vendor member Sound Payments and its Sound Easy Pump solution. As you may know, the EMV mandate deadline is April 2021, which means if there is a chargeback and the station does not support EMV at the pump, the station owner will take on the liability and be financially responsible. We know how this has been a concern for many due to the high cost to replace your pumps.
The great news is that there are cost-effective options that can easily upgrade your pumps while also providing you with updated features like contactless capabilities. Our vendor partner, Sound Payments is providing a special discount of 10 percent off hardware between now and April 1, 2021. Sound Payments Sound Easy Pump™ is a semi-integrated, retrofit solution that can easily and cost-effectively enable EMV at the pump in a matter of a couple of hours or even less. It supports contactless via card tap or NFC, QR code scanning, PIN-on-glass, MSR, and EMV chip and PIN. Sound Easy Pump™ is easy to install with only one power cord and eliminates the need to purchase new pumps and close stations for installation. The platform is flexible so it can also easily support future innovations.
Reach out to Sound Payments at petrosales@soundpayments.com or call 844-319-5635 and provide them EMV4NJ for the 10 percent discount. You can also learn more about Sound Easy Pump™ at soundpayments.com and join them for a webinar on Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. ET. Register here.
Learn more about Sound Easy Pump and the promo here: https://soundpayments.com/emv-cost-comparison-nj/

Be Well -  
Sal Risalvato
Executive Director




  Training Class Schedule  

All classes held at NJGCA HQ -- 4900 Route 33 West, Wall Township, NJ 07753

Two-Day Emissions Inspector Training Class

February 11th & 12th, 2021

If you, a colleague, or an employee technician wishes to become a NJ Emissions Inspector, now is your chance! NJGCA will offer an upcoming two-day classes with all the information and training you need to become a NJ Emissions Inspector.
On day one you will receive in-class instruction from NJGCA's instructor. We will break for lunch (provided), and the State will administer the written test in the afternoon.
On day two will go over the hands-on test at an emission inspection location to fully prepare you for the hands-on test.

We are offering the class: 
Thursday February 11th, 7:00am to 4:00pm & Friday, February 12th, 12:30

Email Training@njgca.org if you are interested in signing up

Contact Nick De Palma at Nick@njgca.org to inquire about additional class dates



  News Around The State  

Minimum Wage Measure Advances Out of Committee
The House Education and Labor Committee has approved increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour as part of the first piece of legislation to advance out of committee in President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan. The House panel voted 27-21 along party lines for the legislation, which also includes billions of dollars to reopen schools, bolster childcare centers and expand access to health insurance. According to Bloomberg, five more panels must act on their parts of the stimulus bill, with another six joining in the coming days. That means a House floor vote will occur the week of Feb. 22.

Connecticut Eyes Flavored Tobacco Ban
Senate Bill 326 would outlaw the sale of flavored tobacco, vape and electronic nicotine delivery systems. The proposal defines flavor as a "distinguishable taste or aroma," including any type of "fruit, chocolate, menthol, mint, wintergreen, vanilla, honey, candy, cocoa, dessert, alcoholic beverage, herb or spice." The taste or aroma of tobacco is not included in the description. Retailers oppose the bill because of the potential to lose a significant revenue stream. "By banning menthol cigarettes, it's not only going to jeopardize our sales, but also revenue for the state," said Nurul Alam, owner of Foodland, during a public health hearing on the proposal. "We are losing these cigarette sales, also other sales, because that individual might come to our store to find menthol, and they are also buying other stuff," Alam said.

Thieves Nationwide Are Slithering Under Cars, Swiping Catalytic Converters
Stricter car emissions rules around the world - particularly in China, which has scrambled in recent years to get its dire air pollution problem under control - have sent demand for the precious metals in catalytic converters surging. That has pushed up the asking price for some of the precious metals used in the device - like palladium and rhodium - to record highs. . .The metals prices, in turn, are fueling a black market in stolen catalytic converters, which can be sawed off from the belly of a car in minutes, and fetch several hundred dollars at a scrapyard, which then sells it to recyclers who extract the metals. These global trends in emissions regulations, metals markets and larceny appear to have converged that rainy night in Mr. Kevane's driveway. Nationwide, police are reporting a surge in cases. In St. Louis, catalytic converter thefts jumped more than eightfold, from 50 in 2019 to 420 last year, with the trend gaining speed near the end of the year into early 2021. In Lexington, S.C., sheriffs deputies responded to 144 catalytic converter thefts between July and December, nearly triple the number of cases over the year-earlier period. Converter thefts in Wichita, Kan., also almost tripled in 2020 compared to the previous year, to 547 cases from 191, and the pace picked up in January, with 102 reported cases just that month. (Other police departments, including those in San Jose and New York, said such detailed data was not available.)

Murphy Administration: PPP Loans Will Be Tax Exempt At State Level
In an effort to aid small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy and State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio announced today that New Jersey will follow the federal government's lead in allowing Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to be tax exempt at the state level and enabling recipients to deduct business expenses that were paid with the tax-exempt loan proceeds, thereby enhancing the tax benefits of the loans. "This decision is designed to help already beleaguered small businesses, which are the majority of recipients of these loans," said Governor Murphy. "It's no secret that New Jersey has been one of the hardest hit states by COVID-19 and our small businesses have shouldered the brunt of it. PPP loans helped many stay afloat and this move will provide added benefit to help them weather this storm."



  Energy Information Agency Weekly Retail Gasoline Prices  
Each week, the Energy Information Administration publishes a list of average gasoline prices for the previous three weeks. NJGCA will begin including this list with the Weekly Road Warrior. Remember, these prices are reflective of self-serve everywhere except NJ.


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  Classifieds: For Sale and Help Wanted Ads  

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